Hinduism is ranked as the fourth largest world religion with approximately 900 million followers (Adherents.com, 2007). But if you’re like most Westerners, you probably don’t know much about it.
Tonight’s post, the second in the Convert a Friend series, may shed a little light. This guest series features essays written by Professor Michele Scott James’s Eastern Religions students at MiraCosta Community College in response to the question:
If you were trying to convince a friend to become either Buddhist or Hindu, what arguments would you use and why?
The following essay was written by Sara Jones.
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a part of the Hindu religion? Maybe you are Jewish, Christian, or even Buddhist, but you want to find a deeper meaning to life. Hinduism is diverse, the most diverse religion you can find. While Hinduism is hard to define, I am going to do my best at helping you understand, so that maybe you will join me on this journey.
Consider the idea that your soul will never die, does that sound appealing? Hinduism believes, that our souls will move on, once we physically die. Another person will inherit the soul you once had, how amazing is that? Hinduism, is a lot of the time confusing and can be interpreted poorly. Some say there are no moral codes, scriptures or practices, but that is wrong. The most important thing to understand about Hinduism is that, it is all about practice, and the willingness to comprehend its belief system. You do not have to “convert”, you simply start living life as a person who practices Hinduism.
You may be wondering, why should I? Why should I start living life as a Hindu? The answer is simple, you have freedom. In Hinduism you have the freedom to worship, pray, however you want, whenever you want. Typically you should live everyday in a way God would appreciate, but you have no specific rules of how to worship. You, yes you can choose the God’s or Goddesses you would like to worship. Knowledge of self is essential, you must keep an open mind, be kind, and do great things. The ultimate goal, what you should be thinking about everyday is something called Liberation. Liberation is hard to grasp, but essentially it means that the cycle of dying and being reincarnated stops, you then become united with Brahman.
Hinduism promotes equality, you can choose from one of the millions of God’s to worship. Does picking your own deity to worship sound right for you? Does making this life, amazing, and doing great things to attempt liberation, sound like something you could live with? Living a day to day life with goals and aspirations, to worship the God you choose, now that sounds like a religion I can take up, and make my own. Also remember, Karma is a big deal to Hinduism, you must give good Karma, to receive it. Practicing what you learn on a daily basis, can help you flourish in this new religious journey you find yourself in. I hope, I have laid it all out for you, and that you will come join me in living a loving, happy, positive karma- filled life.
I would use all of these examples, as my argument that Hinduism is in fact a do it yourself religion, and that you can customize it to your daily life. I would use these arguments because it is appealing, what does not sound amazing about picking your own God, living a life full of love, happiness and good karma? In this world we live in, Hinduism could gain good traction, everyone is always out for a cause, for happiness and kindness, Hinduism is exactly that.